I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Friday, May 14, 2010

Record Streaming Radio - Unreal Software You MUST Have

Everyone listens to Internet radio in one form or another - at least they should.  Most of our local radio stations have streaming broadcasts of their programming 24 hours a day and every now and then, you'll catch a particularly wonderful segment you love (or hate) and want to play it back to yourself over, and over, and over...  You get the picture.

Audacity 1.3 is an incredible little piece of FREE software you can download to record streaming audio from virtually any website.  There are a few system requirements and setting up your sound card to record is pretty simple.  If I can do it, you can as well.

I've been using this software for quite some time and many of the downloads I have saved as mp3 files and listen to them on my Blackberry.  It's great to use when someone says "I never said that on the air," and you retort with, "Listen to THIS."  I love it when a plan comes together...

If you would like to record streaming audio, this is a must-have bit of software.  Check out the website here.

Righting The Record: No Gubernatorial Endorsement Here

Perhaps it is the inclement weather we have been facing of late.  Maybe even the loss of KTOK's Mark Shannon.   It could even be the fact that allergies have been infecting the nasal passages of even the best and brightest in Oklahoma.  Whatever it may be, the source for hand-wringing and hyperbole regarding my supposed endorsement of any candidate for Oklahoma's gubernatorial races are ridiculous and wickedly silly.

But then again, it is campaign season.

Over the last two weeks, I have seen a ludicrous number of emails from Brogdonites roughing me up for "endorsing Mary Fallin."  And then, within mere minutes, I get emails from Fallinistas accusing me of "endorsing Randy Brogdon."  Some, I answer.  Others, I print out and paste on my office wall for future entertainment purposes because the spelling and grammar is so atrocious as to make even Britney Spears seem like a Rhodes Scholar. 

I will type this very slowly so everyone reading this can understand:  I have not come out and supported either of the Republican candidates for governor, nor will I until there has been at least one debate under their respective belts. 

Period.

There are attributes of both candidates I find very appealing and frankly, the gubernatorial vitriol and rhetoric in this race stacks up so fast we need wings to rise above it.  I believe that either candidate (Fallin or Brogdon) would serve Oklahoma well for neither have in their minds our demise, but rather both desire to see our state grow and prosper.

As far as other races are concerned, I have most assuredly made up my mind.  For example, for Corporation Commissioner, I will continue to support Dana Murphy - though she has drawn no opponents at all just yet.  Republicans would be foolish to try and run a candidate against her.  It would be political suicide.  Though I haven't made up my mind completely just yet, I am leaning very strongly toward Scott Pruitt for Attorney General as well.  I have met Scott and spent some time with him and consider him an honorable man with experience and knowledge that exceeds that of his opponent - though I have never met him and only read his campaign website and literature.

Congresswoman Mary Fallin and State Senator Randy Brogdon will have their debates and contrary to what some are saying, I would imagine that Fallin is looking forward to the debates.  We know that Brogdon and his supporters are frothing at the mouth in anticipation as well.  But I find it ludicrous that I have to state so emphatically at this stage of the game (and apparently must do so repeatedly), that I have no pony in that race thus far and won't make up my mind one way or the other until they debate.

And seriously...who really cares about my opinion to begin with other than a few friends and my family?  I'm just a former talk show host, anyway.

So, there you have it my friends.  Now, let's hear some talk about issues like creating jobs, streamlining our state government, reducing the tax burden on Oklahoma working families, public safety, emergency management plans, critical infrastructure, Oklahoma energy policy, worker's compensation reform that does something about the monopoly of CompSource, and yes, even a few reasoned conversations about roads and bridges that results in a streamlining of the ODOT administrative financial burden on taxpayers.

I'll be waiting...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Whole Foods Confirmation

The residents of Central Oklahoma are all a-twitter over Whole Foods announcing their newest location in the mover/shaker area of Oklahoma City.  NewsOk.com is reporting that the location will be close to the Chesapeake Energy Corporation complex.

From the story:

Whole Foods Market and Chesapeake Energy confirmed Wednesday the chain will open its first Oklahoma City store in late 2011 along N Western Avenue between Classen Boulevard and NW 63.
Whole Foods and Chesapeake Energy Corp. ended months of rumors Wednesday and confirmed the chain will open its first Oklahoma City store in late 2011 across from the Classen Curve shopping center.

I have been to one of their locations in Dallas, Texas and it was a very interesting shopping experience.  They even had "organic tampons."  Yeah.  Go figure.

Read the story here.

Deer Creek Candidate Meet & Greet (UPDATE)

Monday, May 17th, the Deer Creek Chamber of Commerce is hosting a candidate meet-and-greet.  Some of the particulars from the Chamber is as follows:

Monday the deer Creek Chamber is holding a Candidate Meet and Greet. It is a great chance to get up close and personal with the candidates running for office.  Each candidate will be at a separate table to answer questions and talk with attendees.

The format for the event will be each Candidate will have their own table where individuals can come and talk with the candidates individually.  The event is open to the public. The point of the event is to create an informal atmosphere where people can get to know the candidates.

The Event Details are as follows:

Date: Monday May 17, 2010
Time: 6pm-8pm
Location: Francis Tuttle Rockwell Campus
Building: 7
Room: 101S

Confirmed Attendees:

Kevin Calvey- Candidate for US House of Representatives District 5
Dr John Snow- Candidate for US House of Representatives District 5
Dave White- Candidate for US House of Representatives District 5
James Lankford- Candidate for US House of Representatives District 5
Clark Duffe- Candidate for US House of Representatives District 5
Mike Thompson- Candidate for US House of Representatives District 5
Rob Johnson- Candidate for Oklahoma State Senate District 22
Ray Vaughn- Running for Re-election for Oklahoma County Commissioner

We just confirmed the following candidates for attendance at the event as well:

Randy Brogdon- Candidate for Governor
Robert Hubbard- Candidate for Governor
Representative for Drew Edmondson- Candidate for Governor

From what I understand, it will not be a full-blown, knock-down drag out, caged death match kind of debate forum, but rather a chance for candidates listed above to meet possible constituents.  Rumor has it that there has been some difficulty in confirming Drew Edmondson.  We'll see who shows up

If you can attend, please do.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nanny State or Good Government?

Republicans have been tilting to the right, working very hard to show the Tea Party movement that they are, in fact, members of the party that celebrated and embraced the Reagan ideologies of smaller government.  Unfortunately, they often fail at such a task and legislation filed by Ardmore Republican Representative Pat Ownbey exemplifies this harsh reality.

Ownbey authored a bill that would require mobile home parks to "have a plan for severe weather" and we have to determine for ourselves whether or not this is Nanny State Government, or if it is good government.  For me, I lean toward Nanny State.

The story from KTOK's Rob Hoy pretty much speaks volumes:
A bill that if it had become law would've required all Oklahoma mobile home parks to have a plan for severe weather has been killed in the Senate.
Ardmore representative Pat Ownbey, the bill's author, says he'll try again next year...


"That's the first thing I'm gonna be doing next session... is to introduce this bill again. I have several emergency management personnel that are working with me and we're gonna go on this route again. I believe we're gonna get it passed, we just have to get the right people to hear it." He says he would have thought after so many mobile homes were affected by tornadoes on Monday this kind of bill would've been a no-brainer.
A "no brainer."  In other words, taking advantage of a tragedy to push legislation that will require business owners to spend more money and then be regulated even more by the government is a "no brainer."  One must wonder whether or not this legislator has spending to much time reading his own press releases or is in a tough race in his House District. 
 
Read Ownbey's bio here.  One would think a radio guy would understand the fact that people are tired of Nanny State government.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Step One: Declare State of Emergency

Step Two:  Request federal disaster funds.

It's a familiar story...Oklahoma experiences horrific weather and devastation and the immediate response is to apply for federal funds to help with recovery efforts.  A very heated discussion erupted yesterday when this was first mentioned, and the discussion must continue - by necessity.

It is a fact that Oklahomans pay federal taxes and those taxes are used to provide aid in some instances during catastrophes.  The tornadoes we experienced yesterday cost 7 lives and millions of dollars of damage so, yes, in this case it is probably very justified to see requests for federal assistance.

But it is, to me, a matter of principle.  The state of Oklahoma has funded some pretty interesting things over the last year - including over $50k just to allow the legislature to have an online video presence.  Whether it be a good thing or a bad thing is yet to be determined, but most of us when faced with revenue shortfalls, don't go out and spend money on a flat screen plasma television set, do we?  How about the funding of endowed chairs for our institutions of higher learning?  Is that really a necessary role of government at this stage of the game when we're talking about laying off highway patrol officers to meet the budget shortfalls?  I think not.

The Oklahoman (read the story here) makes my case for me (emphasis mine):
Today's executive order is the first step toward seeking federal assistance.
The state Emergency Management Department officials also are making preliminary damage assessments to determine the damage caused by Monday's storms.

Want change? Do something.

Had an interesting conversation last evening with a fellow "Facebooker" about the concerns of public safety and the potential of job losses for firefighters and police in Oklahoma City.  I made the mistake of using sarcasm in a comment and suddenly, I became an enemy of public safety.

Ridiculous assumption.

The fact of the matter is that when you watch You Tube videos of Oklahoma City Council meetings, rarely is the gallery filled to overflowing.  Usually, you see the same three or four faces stirring it up and largely, the public perception is that firefighters and the FOP are kind of disengaged and perhaps it's because they don't want to lose their jobs that may be on the line already.  In my estimation, if members of public safety really want change, the rank-and-file officers and firefighters have to mobilize and create a public presence wherein they must be reckoned with.  Otherwise, Oklahoma City leaders will continue to be less than concerned about their jobs and their desires.

Forget arbitration, forget mediation and contract negotiations.  Members of public safety are also voters.  They have within their grasp a communications infrastructure that is powerful - but it must be utilized to its fullest capabilities.  Much like my friends at the Oklahoma Rifle Association, they haven't created the kind of voice and presence the City leaders have because, well, City leaders have financial backers with very deep pockets.

I remember an interview I did with Sheriff Whetsel one time where he brought in spreadsheets that showed how much his deputies earned and I was astonished.  They are morbidly underpaid.  The same applies for firefighters.  But until there is a unified, concentrated mass communications effort, the aggregate result will remain the same.  City leaders need to see the FOP and firefighters uniting en masse and showing up to the City Council meetings.  When the videos go viral on You Tube, the "average Joe" will pay attention.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Oklahomans Come Together (Again)

In just minutes of the news of tornadoes hitting the ground, the citizens of Oklahoma responded.  Interestingly, the use of social networking including Facebook and Twitter were a means to communicate need as well as the location of tornado touch-downs as they happened.

One would think that Oklahoma had experienced such tragedies before.

The Oklahoman has reported a total of five fatalities at the time of this posting and recovery efforts are ongoing.  (Read the story here.)  OG&E is reporting over 27,000 homes are without power.

Oklahomans should be proud of the unity experienced during such times of tragedy, and now the question will be how long it takes the Governor to ask the federal government for financial aid.  Rather than using our own resources, we prove to the world that we are a welfare state.

Never mind using state Rainy Day Funds for such emergencies - it will probably be better spent on OU football tickets...

We can fund endowed chairs, but we can't fund disaster relief in our own state.  We are potentially screwed, friends.  But, somehow, the faith community will come together and meet need...like we always do.

Thumbnail Sketch Monday

Taking a look at the horizon, there is plenty to ponder...

1.  Feed the Children Mess.  Larry Jones has become an amazingly polarized figure in Oklahoma and now, across the country.  The Oklahoman is reporting that a New York ad agency is suing the non-profit organization formerly led by Jones and regardless of what you think about FTC, the problems transcend just this one non-profit.  It is scar on the face of all religious non-profit organizations trying to do the right thing.  Televangelists, in my opinion, have created more damage for the body of Christ than just about any other influence out there.  From the lavish sets to the million-dollar homes, the decadence at the highest levels of televangelism are nothing short of an atrocity.  The aggregate result when scandal hits is all of Christianity is negatively impacted.
Read the story here.

2.  Dave White on KTOK.  Last evening, Dave White (independent candidate for CD5), was interviewed on Gwen Falconer-Lippert's show and really surprised folks.  When asked about why he didn't run as a Republican since he has been a life-long Republican, he responded, "The Republican Party has become too liberal," and he mentioned the fact that he didn't want to be owned by special interests like other Republican candidates.  This guy is the real deal, friends.  Naval Academy graduate, Navy Seal officer, patent owner and successful business owner, his resume is by far the most impressive of all candidates for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District.  See his website here.

3.  Obama Nominates Kegan for SCOTUS.  Former Harvard Law School Dean, Elena Kegan, has been nominated to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens and thus far, conservative pundits such as Michelle Malkin are having a blast lampooning Kegan.  So far, the talk around the beltway is she's "moderate" - which means she is more than likely a liberal.  Confirmation hearings ought to be very interesting in this polarized political environment.

4.  Reason Together.  OU Political Science Professor, Keith Gaddie, and I had an interesting conversation about "reasoning together," about the level of vitriol that has come about this political season already.  And we're not even close to the primary.  We're seeing the uber-conservative wing of the Republican party taking out its anger and frustration against their own - and the Brogdon/Fallin race is merely one of many examples of this.  During one Tea Party event in Oklahoma, a speaker called for the dismissal of Gary Jones as the Chair of the Oklahoma GOP - forgetting that under his leadership, we have control of both the House and the Senate in this great state.  The aggregate result of the blood-letting will be that perhaps we'll get some decent candidates elected who aren't owned by consultants or special interest groups.  But in the meantime, we have to ask ourselves to what end?  What profit a man that he gains the whole world but in the process, loses his very soul?

5.  Mark Shannon Celebration of Life.  Once again, according to Mark Shannon's website, a celebration of his life will be held at Faith Bible Church, 600 North Coltrane, Edmond this Thursday the 13th at 2pm. 

6.  Remote Area Medical.  Giving back is a big deal and according to http://www.ramok.org/ they are doing just that.  From July 9-11, they will be providing FREE medical help for folks in Central Oklahoma at the State Fair Park.  Check these guys out.  They deserve it.  Hell, I may give them a free ad on my blog just because of what they do.  Volunteer here:  www.ramok.org/volunteer

More to follow, keep checking back...

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Shannon Celebration of Life Announced

Many have been asking and the family of Mark Shannon has answered:

Mark's family would like to extend sincere thanks to all of his radio family, listeners, readers,  and friends.  A celebration of his life will be at 2:00 PM Thursday, May 13,  at Faith Bible Church, 600 N. Coltrane Ave, Edmond, OK.
Marks' web page here.

Mother's Day - Gorilla Style

There are so many "moms" I know that it is exceptionally difficult to adequately say thanks for all their work.  Being a mom is a full-time job in and of itself.  Single moms, married moms, step-moms, adopted moms...all is exceptionally difficult work in this day and age.  And then there's the whole grandmother thing too.  But that's for another time.

My mother was a tough cookie.  She had a "zero tolerance" for bovine fecal matter, but at the same time, she was patient and understanding.  I learned more than I could ever write about or even talk about for that matter, but not a day goes by that I don't remember her or something about her.  Her life and her death contributed greatly to who I am today be it for better or for worse.

There are a few things that my mother didn't tolerate and her thinking was definitely "old school" by today's standards.  Here is just a few I remember on this Mother's Day:

1.  Back-talk.  Back-talk would result in a mouth full of soap and if that wasn't enough, she would whip my little butt.  She believed that "honor your mother and father" was a commandment meaning respect and appropriate behavior therein. 

2.  Drugs.  She was not a big fan of drugs or anyone who used them or even pretended to use them or hung around people who used them.  Looking around today, the drug culture in one way or another permeates the fabric of our society and here in Oklahoma, the methamphetamine epidemic would have driven her through the roof.

3.  Kids are to be kids.  She never understood the concept in some families where the kids rule the roost.  It was certainly not the case in my household growing up.  This is not to say that we didn't have responsibilities, but rather we were allowed and encouraged to be kids.  Some of the kids today at the age of 11, 12 or even 13 are allowed to pierce their noses, their lips and put the equivalent of pencils in their ears.  Mom would not have tolerated that for even a nanosecond and she would have taken on any parent (or grandparent) who thought otherwise.  It's one of the things I suppose she taught me that carries forward today.  She didn't "judge," but she understood that we should "hate even the garment spotted by the flesh," and that kids should be kids...not "small versions of their adult counterparts."

4.  Dinner together.  Sitting down at the table, everyone in place, was very important to her and she would not tolerate excuses for not doing so.  "Excuses" fell under paragraph 1 above.

I miss my mother terribly, no doubt.  Having two girls in my home for the time being who also lost their mother at ages very similar to my brother and I provide unique insight for me.  I know the games, I know the manipulation, I understand their grief and what it does to them.  I know how they divert attention from the real emotions they are experiencing and project others.  I also know that the "blended family" so rapidly after marriage has been difficult for ALL the kids. 

What would my mother say?  She would tell me to love, to set boundaries and God help the ones who cross those boundaries.  She would tell me to love all these kids unconditionally and protect them from the garbage they have gone through and never allow them to do be forced to experience it again.  She would tell me to make sure these kids have time to BE kids and to limit negative influences from their past as often and as vigorously as possible.

And make sure they get plenty of home-style fried chicken and cornbread.

I hear you, mom.  Will do.